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Old March 18th, 2006, 04:59 AM   #1
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Recommendation Please: A Good Green Screen to Buy

Hello,

I'm gonna get one of these soon and I'm itching with impatience already.

I'll probably go with B&H though I'm open to recommendations on that front as well, but they're good for shipping to Australia and buying in Australia is never as cheap as buying from them and shipping over here.

So... B&H has these:

Botero 8' x 16' for $129

Backdrop Alley 10' x 12' for $79.95

Lastolite 10' x 12' for $214

Won 10' x 20' for $219

Which is better and why? I'm not expecting a definitive answer, just some reports on who's used what and what are your feelings about it? And why the hell are the prices so different?

I want one that is a nice fabric rather than a paper or curtain sort of material so I'm looking at the Botero but really have no expertise or opinion as to why it might be better.

For what it's worth, I'll be using a Sony Z1P and Premiere Pro 1.5.1. I also have After Effects but no idea how to use it or if I'll need it.

Last edited by John Hewat; March 18th, 2006 at 05:49 AM.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 09:39 AM   #2
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Here are my experiences:

Botero: I have the Botero from B&H and itís just OK. The picture on the B&H site is VERY deceiving. The screen isnít anywhere close to being that green and B&H should have a disclaimer that reads ďsimulated imageĒ like you see in TV set adds. It has obviously been corrected with photoshop or something. This screen is medium green in color (not bright green as in the picture) and it is VERY shiny. You donít want a shiny green screen because it reflects too much light back on your subject and sometimes even has white shiny spots. It'll do in a pinch, but I am not happy with mine and wish I never bought it. Itís very hard to light.

Backdrop Alley Muslin: Have you every worked with Muslin? Have you every tied to iron out the wrinkles in Muslin? (I have and it took me over 2 hrs and it still had wrinkles!) Wrinkles and chroma key donít go together. I would not buy a muslin green screen for this reason.

Lastolite: Never seen this. Doesnít look very green and its muslin so I would stay away.

Won: Havenít use this either but look closely at the enlarged image (near the top and bottom). Itís filled with wrinkles cuzí its muslin. Ďnuf said.

So what should you get? There is a store called Elsdon Enterprises FX (eefx.com) that has an outstanding product. I have no affiliation with them at all. Iím just a happy customer. I bought a small sample 5í x 5í from them on eBay for $25 and Iím going to get a bigger piece very soon. The bigger pieces get more expensive quickly but they are worth the investment.

They have a multi-layered foam-backed fabric that resists wrinkles and is the brightest color green you can imagine. Itís very easy to light and even easier to pull a key off of. For $25 I recommend you buy a small piece from their auctions on eBay and see what this stuff can do. I think you will be very happy with it and buy a larger piece.

~jr
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Old March 18th, 2006, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Rofrano
There is a store called Elsdon Enterprises FX (eefx.com) that has an outstanding product.
Thanks for your advice - I'll skip the Botero.

I went to their site and they had me convinced right up to the point of ordering; when I realised they don't ship to Australia. Damn.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #4
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green screen app and portable screen

Also check out Serious Magic Ultra 2. I have been using it now for the last week and find it to be very fast, easy and good. I have tried them all, Ultimatte, Primatte, Combustion, etc and this program is cool. Take the time to try it "all' out. It keys fast and is tweakable. It keys easily with wrinkles and different shades. It uses vector keying. They are showing a small portable green/blue screen called Instant Backdrop. One side is blue and the other is green. It folds up like a light reflector. Scroll down to the bottom of the web page.

http://store.seriousmagic.com/seriou.../upgrades.aspx

http://www.seriousmagic.com/media/Fo...20Backdrop.wmv

and the app

http://www.seriousmagic.com/products/ultra/index.cfm

Best regards,
Gary
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Old March 19th, 2006, 08:29 PM   #5
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If you get Ultra 2 (which I highly recommend you do) hereís a little tip: Always record a few seconds of just the green screen. Then have the talent walk on. When you are in Ultra 2, all you have to do is place the cursor on a frame of the green screen and press one button to tell Ultra that this is the background. It will instantly key it out taking into account any wrinkles, shadows, or other abnormalities in the screen. You get a perfect key every time. Like Gary said, itís fast, itís easy, and it just works!

~jr
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Old March 19th, 2006, 09:36 PM   #6
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I also liked the tip of turning a camera 90 degrees to record a person in higher resolution. An HDV cam will have a 1920 vertical resolution (so to speak) and then rotate it back in Ultra. Unless you need a wider green scene for more area of the the talent walking. This can help with a DV camera by making it have a 720 vert rez.

GG
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Old March 19th, 2006, 10:08 PM   #7
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well 720 non square pixels. Your talent would be stretched out and look like Lurch.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 03:05 AM   #8
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hmmm, never thought of that or tried it. I just read the tips that the app presented with their 90 degree function. It does have selection for aspect on the clips used, though. I would guess their 90 degree function compensates for this. Maybe someone can try it out and report back. I don't have a cam on hand or screen.

Gary
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Old March 20th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
well 720 non square pixels. Your talent would be stretched out and look like Lurch.
It's no big thing to compensate for this in Vegas or Ultra whatsoever.
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